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Old 03-02-2011, 05:54 PM   #1
KJB5200
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Default Hop Tea - DMS/Grassy Flavor

Hey Everyone,

So I brewed my first lager a couple months ago (SA Boston Lager clone) and it seems like an overall success (especially considering this was also my first AG!). I took off a sample after 5 weeks in the fermentor and it tasted great. Malt was crisp with a slight sweetness and well balanced bitterness. Hop aroma/flavor weren't as up-front as I wanted so following my recipe I decided to dry-hop.

Only I had read a lot online going against dry-hopping cold so I decided to give hop tea a try. Boiled 1L water with 1/4cup DME for 15min, added 0.75oz Hallertauer and 0.5oz Santiam at flameout, and steeped 15min. Cooled to 50F before pitching into carboy and gave it 9 days to hang out before bottling. Now I know it's only been ~3 weeks of conditioning (I bottle condition to free up the carboy) but I cracked a few open to see how it was coming along. Everything was very pleasant except for a varying degree of DMS/wet-grass flavor between the bottles. The first one I opened was undrinkable (tasted exactly like boiled spinach and damp grass clippings) but the second had virtually none of these flavors. Other bottles have been everywhere in between.

So has anyone else experienced this with using a hop tea? I've dry-hopped ales before without such extreme grassy flavors but this if my first hop tea.

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Old 03-03-2011, 06:30 AM   #2
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dry hopping cold is a mistake in my opinion. so if your doing the same thing as dryhopping only in a liquid form (ive never tea'd) your probably have the same chemical reaction going on.

just a material difference with the same outcome.

i went down to my brewery and pulled a SABL out. (havent had one in a while) it seems the malt is a bit on top of the hop flavor. you were clonewise probably on target.

sounds to me like you introduce your tea (dme and hop) too late into your fermentation cycle.

but this is really just an opinion brother. park it for awhile and see what happens. time heals nearly everything.

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Old 03-03-2011, 05:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maltbarleyhops View Post
sounds to me like you introduce your tea (dme and hop) too late into your fermentation cycle.
Normally I'd dry-hop 7-10 days before I bottling so I get that nice fresh aroma/flavor and don't risk blowing it off through fermentation. Maybe that isn't such a problem for a fairly mellow lager fermentation. I've got a second batch of SABL that's been in primary just under 3 weeks. Maybe I'll give the tea another shot tonight and see what happens.

I've also been considering just dry-hopping during the diacetyl rest to take advantage of the slightly warmer temp but that would extend out the rest a number of days. The scientist in me is saying just change one thing and evaluate the results

Thanks for the input!
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:32 PM   #4
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I dry hopped a red ale with 0.5oz Simcoe for 10 days. The first week and a half after bottling, the beer had an awesome citrus/grapefruit aroma. However, after about 2 weeks the aroma almost completely disappeared. It's pretty much undetectable. Does anyone have an answer as to why this happens? Would it help if I added the hops at the tail-end of the boil (when i kill the heat just before using my wort chiller)?

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Old 03-03-2011, 06:19 PM   #5
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Would it help if I added the hops at the tail-end of the boil (when i kill the heat just before using my wort chiller)?
Do you mean moving your early-/mid-boil additions to a later time in the boil? Or do you mean using the 0.5oz Simcoe (that was dry-hopped) as an addition at flameout?

Some of the more senior guys can probably quote entire books on this sort of problem but my initial suggestion would just be to bump up the Simcoe. Or consider something a little lower on the alpha acids. When I dry-hop it's usually 1-2oz per 5 gal and I'll use either a high-alpha combined with a low-/mid-alpha hop or just a low-/mid-alpha hop. I like amarillo and columbus for a really in-your-face citrus aroma or something like hallertauer for a more balanced, floral aroma.

Happy brewing!
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by KJB5200 View Post
Do you mean moving your early-/mid-boil additions to a later time in the boil? Or do you mean using the 0.5oz Simcoe (that was dry-hopped) as an addition at flameout?
I meant using the 0.5oz Simcoe (for dry-hopping) as an addition at flameout.

The aroma was very noticeable for that initial week or so with just a half ounce dry-hopped, but maybe I will add more next time around. I am a bit of a hop head, so maybe I'll play around with this when I brew an IPA or something.
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